Per Fidem Intrepidus means "Fearless Through Faith". My courage isn't my own, it comes from the Holy Spirit, it's my faith in God and my personal savior Christ Jesus that calms my fears and allows me to move forward in this fallen world. Personally I'm afraid of a lot of stuff, but having the faith that Jesus adopted me as his little, sin filled, brother keeps me going.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Ecumenical Monday: Reformation? What Reformation?

I know of a fellow who says he loves God and Jesus but worships a dead woman. This fellow is full of all sorts of unique beliefs: he believes that folks who believe in justification though grace alone are crazy and should be damned, he believes that Christ's work was left incomplete on the cross, he believes that God isn't good enough to confess your sins to - you need to talk to a person instead. He also believes that the bible isn't enough and must be amended with tradition,  that you're not smart enough to read the bible, that God and Allah are the same, that Christ is not the only mediator between us and God, and even dead people can intercede for us. He even insists that salvation through grace is just crazy talk and that justification rests in specific measured works that must be accomplished before death. He also believes that when we die, we become Gods.

Oh, and he calls himself a Christian. 

The fellow is Mr. Pope Francis and not only unrepentant, he's set his sights once again on Christians. Years ago Mr. Pope's political ancestors took it upon themselves to wipe out biblical Christianity and insure that papistry ruled western theology. Starting in 12th century the Roman Catholic Church took it upon themselves to slaughter the Arnoldists, the Cathars, the Waldensians, the Fraticelli, the Husites the Beguines, and the Lollardists. Following the Reformation the Catholic Church declared war on Protestants, we were denounced as heretics and subject to persecution by the inquisition. The Roman Catholic Church's abject hatred of bible believing Christians caused eruptions of sectarian hatred such as the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre of 1572 where up to 30,000 Protestants were slaughtered.

Oddly enough, 30,000 is the same number of Protestants that were persecuted in Catholic Spain between 1936 and 1975. Even though the Spanish Bill of Rights granted freedom of private worship, Protestants suffered legal discrimination and were not allowed to hold worship service in buildings which had exterior signs stating that it was a house of worship.

As many Christians know, there were numerous reasons for the Reformation. Primarily 
1-“Sola Scriptura,” or Scripture Alone: This affirms the Biblical doctrine that the Bible alone is the sole authority for all matters of faith and practice. Scripture and Scripture alone is the standard by which all teachings and doctrines of the church must be measured.
2—“Sola Gratia,” Salvation by Grace Alone: This affirms the Biblical doctrine that salvation is by God’s grace alone and that we are rescued from His wrath by His grace alone. God’s grace in Christ is not merely necessary, but is the sole efficient cause of salvation. 
3—“Sola Fide,” Salvation by Faith Alone: This affirms the Biblical doctrine that justification is by grace alone through faith alone because of Christ alone. It is by faith in Christ that His righteousness is imputed to us as the only possible satisfaction of God’s perfect justice.
4—“Solus Christus,” In Christ Alone: This affirms the Biblical doctrine that salvation is found in Christ alone and that His sinless life and substitutionary atonement alone are sufficient for our justification and reconciliation to God the Father. 
5—“Soli Deo Gloria, For the Glory of God Alone: This affirms the Biblical doctrine that salvation is of God and has been accomplished by God for His glory alone. It affirms that as Christians we must glorify Him always, and must live our entire lives before the face of God, under the authority of God, and for His glory alone. (Source)
These five fundamental doctrines are the reason for the Protestant Reformation, they are where the Roman Catholic church went off the rails with it's doctrine. The Reformation was necessary to return the sheep to the Shepherd, to correct doctrine and biblical teaching, to shed us of man made and man centered traditions and bask in the purity of God's word.

The Reformation has long been a thorn in the side of the Roman Catholic Church. Besides the loss of income when the collection plate rolls around, the Reformation is a public declaration that the RCC's magisterial reign over western Europe is invalid. In response to the Reformation the RCC convened The Council of Trent
The Council of Trent was conducted by four different popes (Paul III, Julius III, Paul IV, Pius IV) between the years 1545 to 1565, and had the two-fold goal of bringing reform to Catholicism and condemning and hindering the growth of Protestantism. A series of anathemas were issued against Protestant doctrine. The Index of Prohibited Books was set up, condemning authors and writings which were deemed anti-Catholic. During the era of Trent, the barbarous Inquisition was further unleashed against those who dared to reject Roman heresies.
In 1564 the doctrines of Trent were summarized in a papal bull entitled The Tridentine Profession of Faith. Dr. Raymond Surburg notes that “all Roman Catholic clergy and teachers must subscribe to it as well as converts to the faith from Protestantism. The person subscribing to it must swear true obedience to the Pope” (Source)
The Council of Trent denied every Reformation doctrine, including Scripture alone and grace alone. Trent hurled 125 anathemas (eternal damnation) against Bible-believing Christians, Here's a sample
“If any one shall deny that the body and blood together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and therefore entire Christ, are truly, really, and substantially contained in the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist; and shall say that He is only in it as a sign, or in a figure, or virtually--let him be accursed” (Canon 1).
“If anyone shall say that justifying faith is nothing else than confidence in the divine mercy pardoning sins for Christ's sake, or that it is that confidence alone by which we are justified ... let him be accursed” (Canon 12). 
Fast forward to 2015 - Mr. Pope Francis has declared that the Reformation ended in 1999. What happened in 1999 that would cause Mr. Pope to declare that the Reformation ended? On October 31, 1999, Reformation Day, in Augsburg, Germany, the Roman Catholic Church and The Lutheran World Federation signed "The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification". The Joint Declaration stressed that good works are a consequence of entering a state of justification and can never be the cause of entering it. The document points out that, "It does not cover all that either church teaches about justification; it does encompass a consensus on basic truths of the doctrine of justification and shows that the remaining differences in its explication are no longer the occasion for doctrinal condemnations"

Based on this document, Mr Pope has declared the Reformation over. The dispute is settled. Married men: Is unilaterally announcing that the argument is settled the proper way of ending a dispute with your spouse? It's a good way to see how comfortable sleeping in the couch can be, but that's just about all that will come out of that decision. I can see those Protestants that were not blessed with a sense of discernment cheering this announcement and running out to get their Pope Francis Brand Rosary Beads. Me? Not so much.

So why did Mr. Pope declare the Reformation dead? If you talk to a Catholic you would get the impression that the Reformation was about Justification and nothing more. This is a lie by omission by the Roman Catholic Church, and a lie told often enough eventually becomes the truth to the undiscerning. The Council of Trent has not been repealed, and it won't be. The Council of Trent was an ecumenical council therefore the RCC cannot repeal the canons and decrees of the Council of Trent. The Catechism of the Catholic Church makes clear, unambiguous reaffirmations of Trent's teachings. The curses that the Catholic Church levels at bible believing Christians are still in effect. 

Even scarier:
Somewhere in Pope Francis’s office is a document that could alter the course of Christian history. It declares an end to hostilities between Catholics and Evangelicals and says the two traditions are now “united in mission because we are declaring the same Gospel”. The Holy Father is thinking of signing the text in 2017, the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, alongside Evangelical leaders representing roughly one in four Christians in the world today.
Francis is convinced that the Reformation is already over. He believes it ended in 1999, the year the Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation issued a joint declaration on justification, the doctrine at the heart of Luther’s protest. (Source)
The Catholic Herald goes on to arrogantly say
So most of the world’s 600 million Evangelicals don’t realise that the protest is overFrom the shantytowns of São Paulo to the high-rises of Seoul, Evangelicals and Catholics still eye each other warily. 
Well, yeah. 'Warily' is a good reaction to Catholic intrusion and arrogance. Historically the Roman Catholic Church's reaction to rejection of their heresies is to kill people. Justification is just one small part of the Reformation. Personally I'm not crazy about the RCC's slavish devotion to icons, idols, indulgences, and necromancy. And I'm definately against someone calling themselves "The Vicar Of Christ" who denies His most basic teachings

Color me sceptical, but this secret document that Mr. Pope will use to slam the Iron Maiden door on the Reformation will not overturn the Council of Trent. The RCC will make no concessions, change nothing of their catechism, and at best make empty apologies before the pogrom starts.

And if they are so hyped up on ending the Reformation, why is the RCC disgusted to share communion with Christians?

1 comment:

  1. It's getting to be a very spiritually-dangerous world out there.